#SupportOurMuseums crowdfunding update - Museums Association

#SupportOurMuseums crowdfunding update

Keep up with the campaigns

As 2020 drew to a close, we teamed up with Crowdfunder to launch #SupportOurMuseums, a UK-wide campaign to support our fantastic museums as they face the huge challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, 3,642 supporters have come together to raise over £220k across 24 projects.

And the journey’s not over yet: our Institutional Member museums are still welcome to launch new campaigns of their own. Crowdfunder has waived all their fees, so there’ll be no cost to you and every penny donated will go straight to your museum.

If you’re looking for inspiration, read on to find out more about how some of the projects went.

The People’s History Museum in Manchester (pictured), whose campaign closed on 26 January, quickly surpassed its initial target of £25k and went on to raise almost £43k.

The museum, which is the UK’s national museum of democracy, lost over £210k in income since March 2020, and cited a cost of £903 per day to maintain the museum’s online presence, look after its collections and take care of its historic building during lockdown closure.

Its campaign had a lively presence on social media and enjoyed a variety of high-profile endorsements from celebrities such as Coronation Street alumna Julie Hesmondhalgh, broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and actor Ian McKellen, who described the “amazing exhibitions” that he has seen at the museum, which he said he “cannot recommend too strongly”.

At the Scottish Maritime Museum, a campaign to restore the Kyles raised over £39k, more than double its original £15k target. The Kyles is believed to be the oldest Clyde-built vessel still afloat in the UK, and its crowdfunder drew media attention after receiving a £15k donation from American billionaire philanthropist John Paul DeJoria.

DeJoria, who has connections to Scotland through former business partner Paul Mitchell, asked an advisor how he could support the campaign within hours of reading about it in a maritime industry magazine.

With support from the funding, the 149-year-old ship’s long history can now be brought to life, with essential repairs and repainting undertaken and cabins restored to how they would have looked before the vessel arrived at the museum in the early 1980s.

Meanwhile Reading Museum raised £6k to aid its digital initiatives for school pupils across Reading and Berkshire. Usually welcoming 50,000 schoolchildren annually and unable to host them in person, the museum needed a way to stay in touch with local children.

The funding will help the museum to continue to develop its new range of online school content, including video sessions, historic re-enactments, interactive activities and digitised museum objects.

The museum has stated that it will particularly focus on reaching and supporting pupils and schools with low cultural participation, especially in areas of Reading and Berkshire affected by socioeconomic inequality.

Seven campaigns are still live, including the East End Women’s Museum’s Women Make History appeal, raising funding for England’s only museum dedicated to the histories of women and girls, and Support Amgueddfa Cymru, aiding Wales’s family of national museums in their work to support Welsh community initiatives.

Whatever the size or location of your museum, this is an opportunity to gain some much-needed support and join a variety of other successful campaigns in this UK-wide fundraising effort.